If you don’t have the design experience, or your time is spread too thin, you could decide to outsource your visual design. GPG Music Director of Customer Relations and award-winning designer Aaron Hines, shared some insights on engaging a visual designer:
● Make sure you set up and stick to a timeline. Start with when you need to learn drill and work backwards.
○ When does your guard staff need the drill to write the choreography?
○ Back to the date your designer needs to have your instrumentation, equipment changes, prop specifics, and source material to meet these dates.
○ Stick to these dates! Expecting your visual team to bail out late music deliveries or late design choices is not conducive to a healthy relationship or a product to be proud of.
● Think through all aspects of your vision and design to assure accomplishment.
○ Does your budget allow for the props you want to have?
○ Can your team afford to spend time learning how to build, use, and get props to and from rehearsal?
○ Can your booster program pull off your vision financially or pragmatically? (not just building it but also transporting it to and from competitions)
● Provide your designer as much information as possible.
○ Do you have any field restrictions at your main rehearsal space? (like only having a practice field that is 20-to-20) Or maybe you rehearse in a parking lot where there is a light pole on the 35 front hash. If this sounds familiar, ask your designer to work around these restrictions so your team isn’t adjusting last minute for the performance.
● Your designer should also know:
○ The level of complexity you would like. Factors such as the amount of rehearsal time, the experience level of the group, how many pages you can learn/clean in a season, and what the performance venue is (college gameday, national competition, middle school parent performance night) are important aspects to review.
○ Where your guard staff would like equipment changes to happen and how many members go to what implement.
○ What your prop specifics are. Where? How many? What size? Are they used to hide performers and do equipment/costume changes behind?
○ Whether you plan to add/subtract members per movement to accommodate changes to your team or if your initial numbers are to be used throughout the design.
○ Details the strengths and weaknesses of your ensemble so the design can be tailored to your specific team.
● Engage a designer who utilizes the benefits of modern technology. Drill sheets in PDF format, Cast Lists, Production Sheets, and Video Animation synced to audio are irreplaceable benefits to efficient rehearsals and a staff who can focus on educating the ensemble.
Behind every creative design of mine is a detailed and educational approach for the students’ success. I have highlighted the issues from over the years that either sweetened or soured a relationship and student experience. Good luck out there!
GPG Music is the premiere source for award-winning music and design for inspirational marching band, captivating concert music, and powerful indoor percussion. We’ve been supplying K-12, college and independent groups for nearly two decades. The GPG team includes educators, designers and composers dedicated to providing reasonably priced custom-level compositions and visual design for all ability levels.GPG Music is dedicated to expanding the diverse voices in Performing Arts music. #InspireTheNextGeneration